Uncharted’s Co-Writer Discusses Uncharted 4’s Ludonarrative Dissonance Trophy and Its Psychological Aspect

Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End featured a rather interesting trophy, called Ludonarrative Dissonance. and it’s rewarded for killing one thousand villains. Co-Writer Josh Scherr was recently featured in an interview with Metro GameCentral, where he discussed Nathan’s fun character and likeable personality while at the same time, killing people throughout his amazing quests. Scherr discussed how the writing and development teams managed to find the balance for that issue.

The answer to that question is no, not really. The ludonarrative dissonance thing is an issue, and we’re always aware of it. We sort of made fun of it in Uncharted 4 with the trophy where if you kill a thousand people you get a trophy. The thing is it’s part of a willing suspension of disbelief.
Here’s the thing: if an Indiana Jones movie was 12 hours long, or 14 hours long, he’d be killing just as many people as Nathan Drake. And that’s kind of the thing. You make video games, you create conflict; this is how the conflict is resolved. And if you portray it realistically then you know Nate’s gonna be curled up in a ball weeping after the combat.
So you have to set aside certain real world concerns for this stuff to work. Because you’re essentially putting game characters in situations that would take most ordinary people and just put them in thearpy for the rest of their lives. And then you’re asking them to do it repeatedly over the course of many hours.
So yeah, there’s gonna be a disconnect, and we do what we can to alleviate it and just hope that the story carries you through enough that you ignore the fact that, you know… you’re killing lots of people!

Uncharted’s upcoming expansion The Lost Legacy releases on August 22 for PS4.